Does Holyfield deserve a shot at a major title?
By Gerardo Granados: Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield was a tremendous fighter in the past, debuted as a professional prize-fighter on November 1984 defeating by UD6 Lionel Byarm, he is the 1984 light heavyweight Olympic bronze medallist, he belongs to an outstanding generation of the U.S.A. Olympic team, he is a former undisputed cruiserweight champion, former undisputed heavyweight champion and five time heavyweight champion.
Holyfield has a vast boxing history; he has achieved what other boxers can only dream of. No disrespect to Sherman “Tank” Williams (T47-W34 (19)-L11 (1)-D2 / age 38 / 5´11”height, 76” reach / orthodox) but he wouldn’t have been considered to fight against Evander in the past. Now Evander is the older contender to the title, he is a veteran that has engaged numerous times against tough, great skilled and bigger fighters; he is not the same he used to be ten or fifteen years ago, but is he is still competitive? His fight against the WBA World champion Nicolay Valuev (2008, Zurich Switzerland) was close but not to consider that he should had been declared the winner, when he fought against Sultan Ibragimov for the WBO title (2007, Moscow Russia) he was able to hurt Sultan a couple of times during their match but was clear that his best years were left behind a long time ago.
TALE OF THE TAPE:
Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield: age 48 / orthodox / 6´2 ½” height, 78” reach / T55-W43 (28)-L10 (2)-D2 / 25*. Former WBA World – WBC – IBF cruiserweight, WBA World – WBC – IBF heavyweight.
Notables: 1Tyrone Booze (WBO cruiserweight / 4*), 2Dwight Muhammad Quawi (WBA World cruiserweight, WBC light heavyweight / 10*), 3Ricky Parkey (IBF cruiserweight /3*), 4Ossie Ocasio (WBA World cruiserweight / 7*), 5Carlos De Leon (WBC cruiserweight / 16*), 6Pinklon Thomas (IBO – WBC heavyweight / 5*), 7Michael Dokes (WBA World heavyweight / 4*), 8James Buster Douglas (WBC – WBA World– IBF heavyweight / 3*), 9George Foreman (WBC – IBF – WBA World heavyweight / 8*), 10Larry Holmes (WBC – IBF heavyweight / 26*), 11Riddick Bowe (WBO – WBA World – WBC – IBF heavyweight / 6*), 12Michael Moorer (WBO – IBF – WBA World heavyweight, WBO light heavyweight / 17*), 13Ray Mercer (WBO heavyweight / 3*), 14Bobby Czyz (WBA World cruiserweight, IBF light heavyweight / 11*), 15Mike Tyson (WBA World – WBC – IBF / 16*), 16Lennox Lewis (WBA World – WBC – IBF – IBO heavyweight / 18*), 17John Ruiz (WBA World heavyweight / 11*), 18Hasim Rahman (WBC – IBF – IBO heavyweight / 5*), 19Chris Byrd (WBO – IBF heavyweight / 8*), 20James Toney (IBF – IBO cruiserweight, IBF super middleweight, IBF middleweight / 17*), 21Sultan Ibragimov (WBO heavyweight / 3*), 22Nikolay Valuev (WBA World heavyweight / 8*).
If others “contenders” have got the chance to win a major title (and a big purse) then why is Evander Holyfield left aside? not only at the heavyweight division but in all the weight divisions you can see champions defending their titles against not dangerous “contenders” inclusive you get to see an protected average fighter been allowed to fight for a recently vacated title against a tailor made “contender”(I´ll let you guess who I´m referring to); some are not even ranked in the top ten of the boxing organizations, others are clearly past their prime no matter what is their age, a few are so old that you may forget against who did they conquered their first belt, on times you get to see a challenger to the title been knockout with a single shot while having his guard up high, we have former champions coming from retirement to challenge for major titles. Younger fighters are overlooked or avoided if they have the skills to defeat the champion; some champions simply overprice their self out of the contract. The heavyweight division isn’t full of young talents inclusive the champions aren’t considered as talented as once the division had been, so if the Klitschko brothers Wladimir and Vitali or David Haye aren’t considered as good as Ali, Foreman, Tyson, Lewis or Holmes and the contenders aren’t as good as the ones that existed in the past, then why not aloud a former great heavyweight champion to fight for a major title? Besides if it is promoted as his “last” shot at the title Evander could still be able to generate good PPV buys.
It would be interesting to see Holyfield fight against “contenders” like Arreola, Amadek, Harrison, Tarver, Gomez, Thompson or Briggs; and only if Evander is able to defeat any of them then he should be considered to fight for a major title. These contenders are younger than Evander but I don’t believe they are as good to deserve a title shot. Time is running out for “The Real Deal”, and he is not even ranked in the first fifteen of the lists of the WBA, WBC, IBF or WBO, it would be safer for him if he just retire and enjoy life, but it seems that Holyfield wont quit until he gets his last shot.
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